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Code of Hammurabi vs. The Ten Commandments

Time Frame

1 class periods of 45 minutes each

Group Size

Small Groups

Life Skills

Thinking & Reasoning




Are all people the same? Do they have the same values or customs? Compare two different cultures set of laws. Find the similarities and the Differences.


You can use the text book for some ideas. However, it is good to have the text in front of you to really get a feel. I have provided this on my web page at follow the leads to Fertile crescent and you will see links to both of these written laws. You will also need paper and pencils for each group to make lists of their findings.

Background for Teachers

After the class has studied the civilizations of the Fertile Crescent they shouls have learned about Hammurabi and the birth of Judaism. These two cultures came from the same area but differed in their formation. Both has great leaders and both claimed to have recieved devine laws. These are great to use as a compare and contrast excersize.

Instructional Procedures

You need to have the pre-taught background before you can starrt and I usually begin with a discussion about people taking idead from other cultures and using them in their own. Then we discuss the idea that both of them could have come up with these idead on their own. Review the two written codes. Break them into groups with a copy of the codes. Allow them to find similarities and differances. List and discuss their findings on the board. Have discussion on ideas of how two different cultures could have things so similar. And why they could be so different. Use this information to have the students write their own set of laws or code. have them think of what type of civilization they would like to live in.


Enrichment is the time they spend writing their own codes using what they have learned.

Assessment Plan

use a similar question on the test comparing and contrasting differentcultures values. Also, look at the end product they created.


Reese, Riko Mr. Reese's Home Page (, )

Created: 11/16/1999
Updated: 02/02/2018